Karina Inkster was struggling to get clients. Like many trainers, she was overworked, overtired, and, well, just about over all of it.
As a vegan strength athlete, she knew her personal approach simply wouldn’t appeal to most people. So she tried to be more “mainstream,” but she wasn’t fulfilled.
Then Karina made a strategic business decision: She embraced the skills, knowledge, and passion that made her unique, and branded herself as an online coach for “vegans who want to get super strong.”
Now you might say, “She’s crazy! That market is way too small to make any real money.”
But Karina took a different viewpoint. She knew her focus was narrow, but she believed this audience was underserved, and that she could own it.
And she was right.
Karina found her people. And they started finding her, too.
So much so that Karina now has a wildly successful online coaching business.
She gets to coach clients who share her passion, while working fewer hours and making more money than she ever thought possible. Oh, and she just bought her dream house.
But Karina’s story isn’t unique to personal trainers, whether they train clients in person or online. And neither is her approach.
That’s because the marketing technique she used is based on the age-old principle of positioning. Truth is, we’re in a funny age right now where everything is new, and yet nothing is different. People eagerly buy at premium prices for the same reasons they always did.
In Karina’s case, her success is a result of how she used her specialization to position herself.
Think about it this way:
If you needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus, would you choose an urologist? Or would you seek out an experienced orthopedic surgeon, a specialist who’s operated on thousands of knees?
The power of specialization stems not from any special talent the specialist has, but from the attention, reputation, expectation, and trust that develop as a result of someone caring enough to specialize, and establishing a strong market position.
If Karina screws up while working with a vegan client, she has much more to lose than a typical fitness coach. It’s not just another client to her. She’s staked her entire reputation on training vegans. Prospects instinctively understand this, and a higher trust prevails. That makes Karina the obvious choice over nonspecialized competitors. And once you’re the obvious choice, cost is irrelevant.
At the most basic level, consumers will always believe that a person serving 10 different types of clients will never do as good a job as a person focusing on one type of client. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter. What matters is the perception of the consumer.
Consumer perception of expertise is what drives business. Create that perception and you’ll be able to charge what you’re worth, and have prospects lining up to pay.
In Karina’s case, her one specialty is more than enough. But what if you desire to train two or more types of clients?
No problem. As long as you appropriately position your services in the marketplace, you’ll become the obvious choice. Prospects will approach you, credit card in hand, asking to buy at any price.
And you’ll do well.